Sleep Newzzz - Feb. 19, 2020

Sleep Newzzz - Feb. 19, 2020

Scent is an influential yet undervalued sense that humans experience. 

In our previous Sleep Newzzz, we’ve learned that scents that help improve learning during sleep.

Now, there's new research that a particular smell can help improve your sleep quality. No, it’s not an essential oil that you can simply purchase at the store. 

It’s the scent of your romantic partner. 

So, should you stop counting sheep and just use your significant other’s shirt as a pillowcase? Read more to find out on this week’s Sleep Newzzz … 

Smelling Your Lover's Shirt Improves Sleep Quality

The smell of a romantic partner is enough to improve quality of sleep, even outside our subconscious, according to a new psychology study.

Researchers at the University of British Columbia found that study participants who were exposed to their partner’s scent overnight experienced better sleep quality, even though their partner was not physically present.

The study analyzed sleep data from 155 people who were given two identical-looking T-shirts to use as pillowcases: one had been worn by their romantic partner and the other had been worn by a stranger or was clean.

Study participants weren’t told which T-shirt was which and spent two consecutive nights sleeping with each one. Each morning, they completed a survey about how well-rested they felt.

Their sleep quality was also measured using an actigraph sleep watch that monitored their movements throughout the night.

Participants reported feeling more well-rested on the nights when they believed they were sleeping with their partner’s scent.

This was backed up by the sleep watch data, which indicated that sleep improved when participants were actually exposed to their partner’s scent.

The Australian Bearded Dragon May Hold Secrets to Human Sleep

Who would have thought a reptile would have untold secrets to sleep? 

Scientists seeking the origins of sleep may have uncovered important clues in the Australian bearded dragon. 

By tracing sleep-related neural signals to a specific region of the lizard’s brain—and linking that region to a mysterious part of the mammalian brain—a new study suggests complex sleep evolved even earlier in vertebrate evolution than researchers thought. 

The work could ultimately shed light on the mechanisms behind sleep—and pave the way for studies that may help humans get a better night’s sleep.

What New Research Says About Melatonin and Sleep

Most people think of melatonin as primarily—or even exclusively—a sleep remedy. Melatonin, of course, is critical for healthy sleep.

The body’s own melatonin production is essential to circadian rhythm regulation and the maintenance of daily sleep-wake cycles.

As a supplement, melatonin has grown tremendously popular, largely on the basis of its reputation as a sleep promoter. 

Indeed, melatonin is among the most used in the United States, according to the National Institutes of Health.

From 2007 - 2012, use of melatonin doubled among adults in the US, rising to slightly more than 3M.

Here’s what’s fascinating:

Some of the most broad and potent benefits of melatonin may lay outside the sleep realm. 

Scientists are learning more and more about the role melatonin can play in treating and preventing disease. 

At the same time, the effectiveness of melatonin’s most well-known use—sleep—remains something of an open question in the scientific community, even as millions of people take melatonin regularly for sleep.

The correlation of the quality of your mattress to the quality of your sleep is definitely not an open question in the sleep community. 

Looking for a better night’s sleep? Perhaps it’s time to switch out the old mattress with our PerfectSense memory foam mattress in a box, today! 

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